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Does Weight Have an Impact on Alzheimer’s Risk?

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Being overweight can lead to some serious physical conditions as well as mental health issues. Researchers are beginning to learn that a person’s weight may be linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what you need to know about the association between Alzheimer’s risk and weight.

Does Obesity Increase Alzheimer’s Risk?

A 2015 study published in Molecular Psychiatry has shown that obesity is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s risk. The lengthy study followed about 1,400 adults over the course of 14 years. The researchers discovered that seniors who had a body mass index of over 25 during their midlife years developed Alzheimer’s disease earlier than non-obese participants. Higher levels of obesity were associated with an even earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease occurred among people who were obese in midlife but eventually reached a healthy weight during their senior years.

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Roseville seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.

Why Does Obesity Raise the Chances of Getting Alzheimer’s?

Weight increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by raising blood pressure. Obese people put their circulatory system under greater stress, and the heightened blood pressure can cause damage to the cells of the brain. Excess weight also causes the body to become resistant to insulin. Without the ability to metabolize blood glucose into energy, the brain cannot clear away toxic beta-amyloid proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Does Being Underweight Affect Alzheimer’s Risk?

According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, seniors who have a low weight are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A study lead by Dr. Ruth Frikke-Schmidt explains that seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s tend to lose weight because they are having difficulty taking care of themselves. Excessive weight loss is more of a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, not a cause. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Roseville, CA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

How Can Seniors Reduce Their Alzheimer’s Risk?

Midlife obesity can cause Alzheimer’s disease in the senior years. However, this doesn’t mean older adults should remain obese. Even though it’s more beneficial to lose weight before entering the golden years, it still provides some benefits if done at a later time. Shedding weight can keep blood pressure low, increase the ability to metabolize insulin, and boost brain health.

Alzheimer’s disease is a serious health issue that impacts an older adult’s health, wellbeing, and independence. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Roseville, California, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.